Amit Shah
Bhartiya Janta Party President Amit Shah.IANS

In a major setback to Uttar Pradesh police, a Muzaffaranagar court on Thursday rejected and returned a chargesheet filed against BJP president Amit Shah, officials said.

The magistrate returned the chargesheet with directions to police that the case should be re-investigated as there were many lacuna in the sections slapped on Shah, they said.

The rejection left the Akhilesh Yadav government red-faced as the BJP state unit has alleged that the Samajwadi Party government added new sections -- some serious and non-bailable -- against Shah out of political vendetta.

BJP state president Laxmikant Bajpai said that its now been proved beyond doubt that frightened at the prospect of losing the bypolls scheduled for 13 September, the Samajwadi Party stooped to very low levels. "It has been reduced to rubble in the Lok Sabha polls and is on the verge of being decimated again in the bypolls. With this desperation, it somehow wants to frame political adversaries," he said.

Police on Wednesday filed the chargesheet against Shah in Muzaffarnagar over a speech he delivered during the Lok Sabha election campaign.

Shah had reportedly delivered the hate speech on 4 April and was then booked for breaching prohibitory orders under Section 144. He was at that time in charge of the BJP poll campaign in Uttar Pradesh.

Now, more Sections -- 153(a), 295(a) and 505 of the Indian Penal Code -- have been added to the chargesheet filed by Nai Mandi police of Muzaffarnagar. Under these sections, Shah has been accused of using foul words against a community and of trying to disrupt communal harmony, threatening the state and the people.

If the charges are proved to be true, the BJP president could face a prison term of three years.

The returning of the chargesheet by the additional chief judicial magistrate III is now set to become an issue in the 13 September bypolls for 11 assembly and one parliamentary constituencies.

Meanwhile, home department officials said police will be asked to re-investigate the matter thoroughly and submit a new chargesheet.